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Price changes

Masked worker serves customer in Post Office lobby

USPS has announced price changes for letters, postcards and flats in alignment with Delivering for America, its 10-year plan to achieve financial stability and service excellence.

If favorably reviewed by the Postal Regulatory Commission, the changes would take effect Aug. 29.

Here are the current and planned prices:

• Letters (1 ounce): 55 cents (current), 58 cents (planned)

• Letters (additional ounces): 20 cents (no change from current price)

• Letters (metered 1 ounce): 51 cents (current), 53 cents (planned)

• Domestic postcards: 36 cents (current), 40 cents (planned)

• Flats (1 ounce): $1 (current), $1.16 (planned)

• Outbound international letters (1 ounce): $1.20 (current), $1.30 (planned)

“For the past 14 years, the Postal Service has had limited pricing authority to respond to changing market realities,” said Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. “As part of our 10-year plan to achieve financial sustainability and service excellence, the Postal Service and the Board of Governors are committed to judiciously implementing a rational pricing approach that helps enable us to remain viable and competitive and offer reliable postal services that are among the most affordable in the world.”

Under the current pricing model and the proposed changes, the cost to mail a First-Class Mail letter is significantly lower in the United States than in many other Western countries, including Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom and France.

The proposed changes will address operating losses in the near term and will help fund investments in workers, technology and infrastructure to improve operations and customer service.

The PRC’s website has the Postal Service’s complete price filing, including prices for all products. The Postal Explorer site has price change tables.

The USPS news release has additional information.

Opportunity window

A lead from a Texas employee has resulted in a shipping deal worth more than $123,000 for the Postal Service.

Demonda Cleaver, a retail associate at the Bent Tree Post Office in Dallas, served a business customer who was looking to save money on shipping.

She submitted a lead through Clerks Care, a program that allows retail associates, call center agents, and machine and distribution clerks to pass on sales tips.

Anthony Sanchez, a Dallas District business development specialist, and James Allen, a field sales representative, followed up with the customer.

They closed a shipping deal for $123,025 in new estimated annualized revenue for the Postal Service.

Sales generated from Clerks Care leads count toward the USPS Power of One campaign to raise revenue through sales leads from employees.

“Demonda talked with her customers while serving them at her window,” said Mary Anderson, small-business engagement director at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC. “As a result, she was able to spot opportunities to help them save money while bringing in new revenue for the Postal Service.”

The Postal Service is encouraging as many employees as possible to submit at least one lead through any of its six lead programs by Sept. 30. The Small Business Sales team is tracking program participation rates through its weekly “Drive to 35” downloadable report.

The Small Business and Lead Generation Programs Blue page has more information about Clerks Care and the other employee lead programs: Business Connect, Customer Connect, Mail Handlers, Rural Reach and Submit a Lead.

Make way for mallards

The Postal Service’s newest stamped postcard, which features a watercolor image of a mallard duck by Dugald Stermer, will be released June 1.

Stermer was an eclectic artist widely known for his drawings of the natural world as well as for a typographical style that influenced the early aesthetic of Rolling Stone, New York and Mother Jones magazines.

The mallard pictured is a drake in breeding season, when his plumage is at its finest: iridescent green head, white neck ring, chestnut breast and curled black tail feathers.

The drake’s eye-catching display fades to mottled brown in summer and early autumn, when he is growing new wing feathers and cannot fly. The temporary dun coloring provides effective camouflage from predators while he’s grounded.

Ethel Kessler designed the postcard, which is a Forever product that will always be equal to the value of the stamped postcard rate at the time of use.

The stamped postcard is available at usps.com.

Pain prevention

Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, held every June, calls attention to two painful conditions — and ways to treat them.

Migraines are recurring headaches that cause moderate to severe pain or throbbing that is often in one area of the head.

Other symptoms — such as nausea, weakness and sensitivity to light and sound — may also occur.

Migraines are often linked to genetics, but they can affect anyone. Women are three times more likely to get migraines than men.

Many factors can trigger a migraine, including stress, hormones, noises, smells, medicine, inadequate sleep, weather, overexertion, alcohol and food.

Migraines are more common in the morning, and some people experience them at predictable times, such as before menstruation or following stressful events.

For migraine relief, the National Institutes of Health provides these tips:

Rest with your eyes closed in a quiet, dark room.

Place a cool cloth or ice pack on your forehead.

Drink fluids.

Try stress management techniques, such as exercise and relaxation activities.

Keep a log of what causes your migraines, to help prevent further occurrences.

Health care providers diagnose migraines by conducting exams and reviewing medical history. It’s important to rule out other medical conditions that may be causing symptoms.

There is no cure for migraines, and treatment centers on relieving symptoms and preventing future attacks.

The National Institutes of Health, U.S. National Library of Medicine and USPS Wellness LiteBlue page have additional information.